U’s targeting another good day on the road at Crewe

Frankie Kent, could return to the U's side at Crewe today, following a back injury. Picture: RICHARD

Frankie Kent, could return to the U's side at Crewe today, following a back injury. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Pagepix

Colchester United thrashed Crewe Alexandra 6-0 on home turf last August, but they will find the Railwaymen a very different type of proposition at Gresty Road this afternoon.

The U’s rose to third, with that early season demolition of David Arrtell’s men, and to their credit they have remained in-and-around the top seven all campaign.

But they are in danger of sliding out of the play-off places, for the first time since early October, if they suffer what many visiting teams have suffered at Gresty Road – namely, a defeat.

Looking on the positive side, the U’s, with the exception of a poor second-half display at Crawley (2-0 defeat on New Year’s Day), have done well on their travels of late, recording good wins at MK Dons (1-0) and Port Vale (3-0).

So they will be confident of bouncing back from last weekend’s disappointing 3-2 home defeat to promotion rivals Mansfield, when they surrendered a half-time two-goal lead.

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“Crewe’s home form is among the best in the division, but our away form has been good and we are in good spirits,” explained U’s boss John McGreal.

“It should be a really good footballing match. Although people were quick to praise Mansfield last weekend, we too have a very exciting young team at Colchester, and Mansfield couldn’t live with us for the first 50 minutes.

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“We have a very vibrant team, and we warranted a win last weekend. We just have to learn how to win games from such a strong position. That’s part of growing up for some of our younger players.”

In terms of the last three months of the season, McGreal said: “We have no points target in mind. We don’t think about that.

“There’s still 17 matches left, with 51 points to play for, so it’s far too soon to be talking about that. We will just be looking to accumulate points, game-by-game.

“Again, I have to compliment the boys. They have got into a fantastic position, through hard work. We have had consistency, we’ve been in the top three for little bits, and we have started scoring goals again after our so-called ‘blip.’

“Budget-wise, we are in the bottom half of the budget league, and that’s not taking into account what some of the clubs are able to do in January with adding to their squads and strengthening them.

“We would love to add, but we haven’t managed to get a player over the line year.

“We tried to do that early on, but didn’t manage it. We have to be patient,” added McGreal.

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